The Spinach scare was a few weeks ago, but I kept thinking, if you really love Spinach, grow it yourself!
For areas that don’t get hard winters:
Now is the perfect time to grow it because it likes cool weather and it won’t bolt the way it does in the spring.
For areas that DO get hard winters:
Grow it indoors! It can be done very successfully and here is how:
Because you will be growing this indoors, I would pick a couple of varieties of Spinach that are more resistant to diseases.
For crinkle-leaf (savoyed) Spinach choose:
For Smooth-leaf Spinach choose:
Spinach has a deep taproot so pick a container that can allow that root to grow and is around 10 to 12 inches deep.
Mix some soil. A good mix for indoor vegetables would be 1 part potting soil, 1 part vermiculite, 1 part peat, and 1 part perlite.
Plant Spinach seeds 1/2″ deep. Spinach seeds germinate best in soils around 65Â°F-70Â°F. Germination takes 7-14 days.
Spinach will need 6-8 hours of bright light. A bright room or an enclosed, sunny porch where temperatures will not dip down to freezing would be a good place to place your pots.
Just make sure the area you put your containers stays cool! Spinach will bolt if it gets too hot, so the area should be around 65Â°F-70Â°F. If needed, get a few grow lights to help supplement your plants. They are super easy and fast to set up.
Once germinated, thin Spinach to one seedling every 3″ or so.
Spinach needs to be evenly moist throughout its growing season so monitor it fairly closely.
After your seeds have germinated and you have thinned your plants, Feed every two weeks and use a balanced organic fertilizer for best results like a 15-15-15.
Spinach is ready to harvest when the leaves are big enough to pick.
Harvest spinach by either cutting the leaves away from the plant or by pulling the entire plant out.
Spinach leaves benefit from cooling immediately after harvest. Wash the Spinach leaves in cold water.
Spinach leaves can be stored 10-14 days, but Spinach is sensitive to ethylene gases so do not store it with fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas.
Spinach also freezes well, so you can always consider that option.
The neat thing about growing Spinach indoors is that you can grow more than 1 crop if you want.
So if you really miss Spinach, give this a try!
Come on over to Weekend Gardener Web Magazine for more gardening tips!